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Advanced Energy United welcomes progress on new FERC nominations

Posted by Adam Winer on Feb 29, 2024

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, national business association Advanced Energy United applauded President Biden’s nomination of three new Commissioners to fill vacant and soon-to-be vacant seats at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC).  

“A full complement of Commissioners is critical to ensure robust debate and efficient progress on the important issues that FERC will be asked to weigh in on in the coming months and years, from interconnection reform to transmission planning to market rule changes in light of the energy transition,” said Caitlin Marquis, Managing Director at Advanced Energy United. “We encourage the Senate to move forward quickly with the appointment process and look forward to working with a fully staffed Commission under the leadership of Chair Willie Phillips.”

 Background resources:  

Click here to learn more about Advanced Energy United’s work expanding wholesale markets for advanced energy, and engaging with FERC.

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Topics: Press Releases, Caitlin Marquis, FERC

NJ Spotlight News: Interconnection Issues at PJM Threaten Reliability and Clean-Energy Goals, Warns New Study

Posted by Tom Johnson on Feb 27, 2024

NJ Spotlight News reports on a recently released Generation Interconnection Scorecard, authored by Grid Strategies and the Brattle Group and released by Advanced Energy United, that ranks PJM the lowest amongst the seven regional grids. United's Jon Gordon and Kristina Persaud spoke to the massive backlog PJM faces and lack of planning for such scenarios.

PJM Interconnection, the nation’s largest electrical power grid operator, is struggling to connect new electricity projects to its system, threatening power reliability and clean-energy goals, according to a study.

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Topics: Wholesale Markets, United In The News, New Jersey, Jon Gordon, Kristina Persaud

RTO Insider: Advanced Energy United Grades ISO/RTO Queues as Order 2023 is Implemented

Posted by James Downing on Feb 26, 2024

RTO Insider reports on United's recently released Generation Interconnection Scorecard, authored by Grid Strategies and the Brattle Group, that evaluates and grades the seven regional transmission organizations. United's Caitlin Marquis spoke to the challenges presented by flawed interconnection systems and the importance of urgent improvements.

Advanced Energy United has released a scorecard that ranks the seven domestic ISO/RTOs on their generator interconnection processes, finding room for improvement in every one. 

Brattle Group and Grid Strategies prepared the Generator Interconnection Scorecard for United, as they did for a similar project on transmission planning last year. (See Transmission Report Card Grades MISO “B,” Southeast “F”.) 

The scorecard, released Feb. 26, comes after FERC issued Order 2023 and is meant to help track how those and other reforms are implemented, Grid Strategies President and report co-author Rob Gramlich said in an interview. (See FERC Updates Interconnection Queue Process with Order 2023.) 

“We’re hopeful that those reforms happen and further reforms get done,” Gramlich said. “And we’re hopeful that in a year or two, if and when we do this again, all of the grades will improve. But the idea was just to kind of take a snapshot at this time.” 

The flawed interconnection processes have more than 2 million MW of renewable power and storage waiting to connect to the grid, said Advanced Energy United Managing Director Caitlin Marquis. 

“This scorecard confirms what we know about the interconnection process, that grid managers have moved too slowly to adapt to changing market conditions, allowing the process of connecting new electricity to the transmission grid to become dysfunctional,” Marquis said. “Without urgent improvement, the U.S. grid may struggle to keep up with growing energy demands, threatening our ability to keep the lights on and reach our climate goals. Strong implementation of FERC’s recent reforms will be an important first step toward improving the interconnection process, and it’s also clear that additional reforms will be needed.”  

None of the ISO/RTOs managed to get an A, but both CAISO and ERCOT got Bs, with Gramlich saying one reason they did better was that they’ve proactively planned their transmission systems to add new resources. 

“That has been a little bit less of a case recently in ERCOT,” Gramlich said. “And so ERCOT used to be great from a developer perspective, but they got marked down a little bit because of a lack of transmission. Because you can connect, but there’s a lot of congestion once you connect. California has always done proactive transmission planning pretty consistently … so the grid has been prepared in advance to accommodate more generation.” 

Both also scored highly on giving developers a sense of certainty, with ERCOT assigning limited costs to interconnection customers and CAISO being credited with good transparency. 

No other market scored above a C- on United's scorecard, which highlights the need for changes to meet rising demand from new large loads, electrification, and state policies and customer demand driving more renewables onto the grid. 

“Currently, most of the regions are undergoing significant efforts to reform their interconnection practices and policies in response to stakeholder concerns and FERC Order No. 2023,” the report said. “The scorecard is not an assessment of those ongoing or recently adopted reforms that have not yet impacted the generator interconnection processes.”  

The growth of wind, utility-scale solar and storage has resulted in interconnection projects popping up everywhere, Gramlich said.

The scorecard measures six categories, the first of which is interconnection process and results, which measures an interconnection’s success rate, cost reasonableness and uncertainty. It also grades prequeue information, queue design, assumptions and criteria, availability of interconnection alternatives, and whether transmission planning takes future generation needs into account. 

That final category is the only one where the graders looked at rules now in place, which have not impacted the queues yet.  

Read the full article here. 

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Topics: Wholesale Markets, United In The News, Caitlin Marquis

Advanced Energy United releases generator interconnection report card for U.S. electric grid managers

Posted by Adam Winer on Feb 26, 2024

This first-ever comparative evaluation of generator interconnection shows electricity system operators are struggling to connect generating resources to the U.S. grid, threatening power reliability and clean energy goals

WASHINGTON, DC – A new, first-of-its-kind scorecard from national business association Advanced Energy United evaluates and grades the seven U.S. regional transmission organizations on their generator interconnection processes. The scorecard, authored by Grid Strategies and The Brattle Group, shows that interconnection is not going smoothly in any region of the country, with some regions facing serious deficiencies.

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Topics: Wholesale Markets, Press Releases, Caitlin Marquis, FERC, Transmission

Advanced Energy United Urges Arizona Corporation Commission to Reject New Solar Surcharge

Posted by Caroline Grace on Feb 22, 2024

Without warning, ACC staff proposed a new charge only for solar customers. 

PHOENIX, AZ—The national business association Advanced Energy United is urging the Arizona Corporation Commission (ACC) to vote against the new solar surcharge proposed in the Recommended Opinion and Order (ROO) in Arizona Public Service (APS)’s rate case.

The surcharge imposes a fee that exclusively and unfairly targets solar customers. This fee would increase solar ratepayers’ monthly bills 15%, adding $3-4 more per month compared to non-solar customers.

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Topics: State Policy, Press Releases, Arizona, Michael Barrio

New Mexico Legislative Session Advances Clean Energy Initiatives

Posted by Caroline Grace on Feb 16, 2024

SANTA FE, NM— As New Mexico’s 2024 legislative session closed yesterday, the advanced energy industry made strides despite a busy session with competing priorities.

With bills advancing clean transportation, enabling building electrification, incentivizing clean energy solutions, and enhancing electric vehicle infrastructure, the session resulted in the passage of key legislation affirming New Mexico’s dedication to achieving a clean energy economy.

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Topics: State Policy, Press Releases, New Mexico, Michael Barrio

Advanced Energy United Disagrees With ACC’s Efforts to Repeal Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Rules

Posted by Caroline Grace on Feb 15, 2024

Arizona Corporation Commission voted 4-1 to begin the process of repealing the state’s energy efficiency and renewable standards.

PHOENIX, AZ. – The Arizona Corporation Commission (ACC), in a majority 4-1 vote, voted to begin dismantling the Renewable Energy Standard & Tariff (REST) and the Energy Efficiency (EE) Standards, which have been in place since 2006 and 2010. Reversing these rules would curtail job creation, negatively impact grid resilience, and create regulatory uncertainty for businesses looking to invest in the state. Additionally, reversing long-standing policy signals to businesses that Arizona doesn’t want their jobs and investments, negatively impacting the state’s economy.

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Topics: State Policy, Press Releases, Arizona, Michael Barrio

Reuters: US Efforts To Restore Offshore Wind Pipeline Spur Factory Investments

Posted by Eduardo Garcia on Feb 15, 2024

Reuters reports on new investments in offshore wind manufacturing from company US Forged Rings, quoting United's Jeremy McDiarmid on the budding U.S. offshore wind supply chain.
US Forged Rings, a new company created by piping group Canadoil, announced plans last week to invest $700 million in a tower fabrication facility and a steel forging plant on the East Coast to supply components to the offshore wind industry.
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Topics: United In The News, Offshore Wind, Jeremy McDiarmid

RTO Insider: Biden Drops ‘Acting’ from Phillips’ Title; Clements to Leave at End of Term

Posted by James Downing on Feb 11, 2024

RTO Insider  reports on the official naming of Willie Phillips as FERC Chair The article quotes United's Caitlin Marquis, who welcomed the news and stated that Advanced Energy United hopes to see the nomination of new FERC commissioners who share interest in tackling the challenges faced by the energy sector.

President Joe Biden on Friday removed “acting” before FERC Chair Willie Phillips’ title, as Commissioner Allison Clements announced she would not seek a second term.

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Topics: United In The News, Caitlin Marquis, FERC

Advanced Energy United congratulates Willie Phillips for being named FERC Chair

Posted by Adam Winer on Feb 9, 2024

United calls on Biden Administration to nominate additional candidates to fill out commissioners 

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, national business group Advanced Energy United congratulated Willie Phillips on his elevation to Chair of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), andurged expedient nomination of additional Commissioners to restore a full complement to FERC. 

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Topics: Wholesale Markets, Press Releases, Caitlin Marquis, FERC

Utility Dive: Colorado Regulator’s Vision for Xcel Virtual Power Plant: Tariff-Driven, 50 MW and Online by This Fall

Posted by Robert Walton | Utility Dive on Feb 7, 2024

Utility Dive reports on the Colorado Public Utilities Commissioner’s vision for Xcel Energy to roll out a 50MW Virtual Power Plant this fall to improve grid reliability. The article quotes Brian Turner on what a viable VPP program would look like and the time it would take to implement. 

Xcel Energy would roll out a 50-MW virtual power plant, or VPP, utilizing a new “prosumer tariff” by the end of this year under a vision laid out by a Colorado Public Utilities Commission regulator. While the utility has some concerns about the timeline, it said in a Jan. 25 filing that aspects of the VPP could be included in an upcoming request for proposals in the first quarter. 

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Topics: United In The News, Colorado, Brian Turner

Canary Media: Bill Would End California Experiment with Income-Based Electric Bills

Posted by Jeff St. John on Feb 7, 2024

Canary Media reports on the California lawmakers’ efforts to overturn the California Public Utilities Commission’s plan to propose income-graduated fixed fees with Assembly Bill 1999. The article quotes Edson Perez and Brian Turner on how ratepayers will be affected by this and the consequences of this fixed charge.
Of all the ways California regulators are proposing to rein in fast-rising electric utility rates, few are as controversial as the plan to charge customers for electricity service based on how much money they make.
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Topics: United In The News, California, Brian Turner, Edson Perez

PV Magazine: Increasing Alternative Energy Standards Would Bring Billions in Investment to Pennsylvania

Posted by Anne Fischer on Feb 5, 2024

PV Magazine  reports on the recently released report, "Implementing “30% by 2030” Renewable Energy Policy Would Generate $13 Billion for PA" , by Advanced Energy United and a coalition of partners.  The article quotes United's Nick Bibby, who relays the report's findings that increasing Pennsylvania's Alternative Energy Portfolio Standards would benefit the Commonwealth.

The governor of Pennsylvania has made a campaign pledge of 30% renewable energy by 2030. While 30% is not overly ambitious, three business groups crunched the numbers and found that, if enacted, more than $13.1 billion could be invested in Pennsylvania over the next seven years and 129,000 jobs could be created.

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Topics: United In The News, Pennsylvania, Nick Bibby

Advanced Energy United Applauds Bill to Halt the CPUC’s Proposed Income-Graduated Fixed Fee

Posted by Caroline Grace on Feb 2, 2024

California Lawmakers are pushing to dismantle fixed fee that would hike up utility bills

SACRAMENTO, CA – A coalition of California lawmakers led by Assemblymember Jacqui Irwin have introduced Assembly Bill (AB) 1999, which would repeal a prior bill authorizing the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) to implement a fixed-charge billing system for residential electricity bills based on household income. Instead, AB 1999 would cap utility fixed charges at $10.

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Topics: State Policy, Press Releases, California, Edson Perez

New Report: Implementing “30% by 2030” Renewable Energy Policy Would Generate $13 Billion for PA

Posted by Savannah Gribbins on Feb 1, 2024

Report released as state legislators consider policies to increase the state’s Alternative Energy Portfolio Standard (AEPS). 

HARRISBURG, PA – More than $13.1 billion could be invested in Pennsylvania over the next seven years, and 129,000 jobs could be created, if policymakers increase the Commonwealth’s clean energy standards in line with Governor Shapiro’s ‘30% renewable energy by 2030’ campaign pledge, according to a new report released today by three business associations, Advanced Energy United, MAREC Action, and American Clean Power Association.

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Topics: State Policy, Press Releases, Pennsylvania, Nathan Willcox, Nick Bibby